Our biggest asset

We Oregonians get vast pleasure from the parks, forests, and waters of our state.

Hiking, biking, swimming, camping, backpacking, kayaking, fishing, hunting, bird-watching, rafting, rock-climbing, skiing and communing with nature bring out-of-state visitors, too, making outdoor recreation one of Oregon's biggest job providers with 141,000 direct jobs, $4 billion in salaries and wages, and $955 million in state and local tax revenue, according to the Outdoor Industry Association. This is something working well in our state.

In assisting communities with stubbornly high unemployment, we can’t risk what is working well by thinking that the only possible new jobs for hire are tied to a dirty industry that costs every community in pollution, blight and landowner sacrifice.

There are 26 fossil fuel transport/export projects proposed to slash our state with pipelines and fuel trains — if we let them — for the cheap promise of a few permanent local jobs.

Nobody wants to hike near a 90-foot-wide, herbicide-sprayed clearcut, or see their watershed disrupted, or their favorite fishing hole blown apart in order to lay a fuel pipe.

Let’s protect what we love and be determined to establish non-fossil fuel jobs for fellow Oregonians. We can.

Donald E. Snyder

Ashland

Support Standing Rock Sioux 

I know I am not alone. I know I was not the only child that felt horror and shame when I learned how our Native Americans were treated. Today, we must aid and support the Standing Rock Sioux.

We all need to be warriors, nonviolent warriors, committed to our shared struggle for life and for justice. These pipelines and the fracking industry are so wrong. They must be stopped.

Stand with our North American tribes and First Nations in this cause. As the Hopi elders say, "We are the ones we've been waiting for."

Dave Garcia

Medford

Festival bullying

I've been a member of OSF for 16 years, but I agree with Mr. Gosling, who cites them for petty political correctness and bullying.

Bill Rauch emailed a 16-paragraph message to members justifying OSF's stance in asking Judi  Honoré to rearrange her storefront display of banned books. Free speech is a precious tradition, he states, yet claims there is no parallel between a theater experience and a public display. He has yet "to hear a persuasive argument for the juxtaposition of ('Little Black Sambo' and 'Wizard of Oz'), other than testing the limits of free expression with offensive messaging."

Whoa. Sambo is about a clever Indian boy; Wizard (the book) has no black character. It's a stretch to find offense in Sambo next to Dorothy and Toto. Rauch faults Honoré for going public with a private conversation. When a behemoth like OSF leans on a small store, it should be known. He claims she was planning to close the business and OSF made few purchases. That's not the point; it's OSF's undue intrusion into her store operations. The display is not violent, vulgar or obscene and was there without controversy long before Rauch came along.

Betsy Shanafelt

Ashland

Enough already

Decades of Democratic domination resulted in Oregon having destructive debt because of the foolish spending of taxpayer money.


$400 million by former and disgraced Governor Kitzhaber's bridge over the Columbia River.
$400 million flushed for CIM (Certificate of Initial Mastery) and CAM (Certificate of Advanced Mastery). Abandoned in a year!
$21 billion PERS deficit.
$300 million for the Cover Oregon website.
$1.2 billion Obamacare budget deficit.

Oregon is 48th in educational ranking, yet the Democrat-dominated Legislature is beholden not to the citizens, but to the teachers and state-employee unions! Hence they need more money and your support for Measure 97. Democrats' greed for your money is insatiable.

You always have too much money and they never have enough! Measure 97 will suck $2,400 from a family of four! Enough already! Are Democrats right in believing they can spend your money better than you can?

Priscilla Vanderlip

Medford

The new Trump

Donald Trump, super patriot, promises to fire the generals, expand the military and "bomb the s---" out of the bad guys. That's a new version of Trump. The other Donald Trump got five education deferments to avoid going to fight in Vietnam.

Jeff Cheek

Medford